Missing Link Daily

A digest of the best of the blogosphere published each weekday and compiled by Ken Parish, James Farrell, Gilmae, Darlene Taylor and Saint.



Ken Lovell highlights the hijinks of a WA building industry employer

Given this long history of bastardry by builders, I think union organisers show commendable restraint if all they do is swear at the pricks.


It must be Ken Lovell day.  Ken has another go at persuading us to be very scared of the USA, busily expanding its permanent military facilities around the globe.


Andrew Leigh has a nice little PowerPoint document making the case for a negative income tax.

John Quiggin concedes that a free market in information made compulsory labeling unnecessary in at least one interesting case.
Harry Clarke points out that monetary policy presents a less acute dilemma in Australia than in the US.

John Humphreys looks at liquidity and interest rates from a libertarian perspective (or perhaps a lefty greenie cultist perspective – see “snark” section below).


Mirko Bargaric thinks it’s time for jury reasons.

Legal Eagle posts a rather more considered analysis of juries, reasons for decision and sentencing in the wake of the Thomas Towle culpable driving case.

Orly Lobel looks at legalising prostitution and the effects of sexual arousal on decision-making in the wake of the Spitzer scandal in the US.

Marcellous posts an extensive analysis of SMH journalist Elizabeth Sexton’s narrow escape from conviction for contempt of court.

Issues analysis

Can one really oppose measures to limit greenhouse emissions purely on the basis that they limit personal freedom? Paul Norton examines Vaclav Klaus’s pronouncement; the Currency Lad responds.  Robert Merkel takes a somewhat pessimistic look at our prospects of reducing greenhouse emissions in the short term i.e by 2020.

Jeremy Sear looks at the strange priorities and obsessions of Anglican bishop Peter Jensen.

A report on ‘white flight’ from public schools has Andrew Norton examining the theories of social cohesion; the Currency Land responds: Julia would have said.

tigtog reports on a British sex education program that has been very effective, if the reduction in teenage pregnancies is any guide, without preaching abstinence.

Niall Cook highlights the history-repeating elements of Australia’s involvement in the F35.

Robin Hanson muses about the effect the limits of our sensory (and instrumental) perception may be having on our understanding of the universe.  And Joshua Gans posts an old paper by Paul Krugman on A Theory of Interstellar Trade.

Will Wilkinson continues his focus on happiness research, which should make Andrew Norton, James Farrell and other happiness study afficionados very happy.


Marcellous gives a lukewarm review to an Australian Theatre for Young People production of Twelfth Night in Sydney.


Shaun Cronin reckons the MSM are being mean to pisspot Parramatta players.

Snark, strangeness and charm

J.F. Beck takes his turn snarking at blogs – or rather one with few readers and much power. ((It seems intellectual power doesn’t count.~saint))((Few readers is a relative term.  With an Alexa rating of 161,015 Crooked Timber is a mid-range blog in traffic terms for a US blog.  However its rating is 2000 places higher than Beck’s hero Tim Blair which is AFAIK Australia’s most trafficked blog.  I bet Beck wouldn’t be posting such an item if Blair had been ranked as one of the 50 most influential blogs in the world. Pearls before swine is a saying that comes to mind ~ KP))

While we’re on a navel-gazing kick, Peter Black links to some US research showing that around 20% of Americans read political blogs regularly, and that (perhaps surprisingly for some) people aged 44 and over are more likely to do so than Gen X and Gen Y. ((That breakup accords with my subjective impression of Troppo’s readership – although I suspect the proportion of Australians reading blogs regularly would be lower than the US ~ KP))

Gilmae suggests I link to a snarky piece about Crikey on Andrew Landeryou’s blog.  Sadly, self-preservation dictates otherwise.

Jason Soon reports from the battlefront in the ongoing civil war between righties, into which Troppo’s James Farrell wisely refused to be conscripted.

Tim Blair has the evidence: truthers have invaded our shores, and they are colliding.

Nico memorialises Old Frank, the Newcastle personality murdered last year.

Images – courtesy Currency Lad, Saint in a Straitjacket

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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16 years ago

Gilmae suggests I link to a snarky piece about Crikey on Andrew Landeryous blog.

I object to this slanderous implication!

16 years ago

without preaching abstinence

That’s without preaching “abstinence-ONLY”. Comprehensive sex education programs certainly include abstinence as ONE of the options for protecting one’s sexual health against pregnancy and STIs.

Joshua Gans
16 years ago

Point taken, tigtog. I meant to emphasise the lack of preaching. I didn’t mean to imply that the program actively encouraged experimentation.

16 years ago

I can’t agree with KP labelling Blair as “Australia’s most trafficked blog”. He doesn’t own his domain as many Oz bloggers do and more than 50% of his ‘traffic’, if such a thing can be accurately defined, comes from American respondents. That Blair has the use of a domain with his name on it is no different from Tim Dunlop running his blog (or one of them) from within the News Ltd nest of domains. Murdoch owns blogocracy, per se, just as Andrea Harris owns timblair.net.

Is there a definitive method for measuring site activity, in terms of readership? I’m not sure there is. Anyway, in the final washup, while Blair may be an Australian citizen, his blog is no more trafficked by Australians than any other, I’d suggest.

16 years ago

OK I confess. It was me *hangs head, shuffles feet*
I can’t even do good snark.

16 years ago

Niall, can you give up? If you are so obsessed with TimB, well, that’s your issue. But can you post about it on your own site or his, or see a psychologist, or do whatever you want to in your own space?

Kevin Rennie
16 years ago

I was somewhat surprised at first by the age range at Getup’s post election Refresh Conference last December. They weren’t all fellow seniors but it was definitely skewed in a similar way to the demographics in Peter Black’s post.

I rarely get a feeling that X and Y are on the political blogs in large numbers. The Face Space social networks are a bit different, as is their interest in political video. Facebook gives a quick way to be involved through group membership and campaign support. Baby boomers have more time for and familiarity with the written word.

16 years ago

I was somewhat surprised at first by the age range at Getups post election Refresh Conference last December.

You were??? I know all of three people below the age of 35 who get that!! Which is out of a pretty internetty-labory bunch. Personally I can’t imagine anything more boring than a get-up conference!

16 years ago

It’s an observation, Patrick. Nothing more and nothing less. If reading my comments gives you the irks, then I suggest you resist the urge.

John Quiggin
John Quiggin
16 years ago

Having been copped a tiny amount of collateral fire in the great snark war, I must say it’s fun to live in era where the rightwing are tearing themselves to pieces, struggling to determine which section of the semi-permanent opposition is the most pure.

David Rubie
David Rubie
16 years ago

John Quiggin wrote:

I must say its fun to live in era where the rightwing are tearing themselves to pieces,

It hasn’t even started being fun yet. It’s the hilarious historical revisionism that I’m waiting for. John Stone had a red hot go in Quadrant this month, but you wait another 12 months to see whether they can polish up JWH like they did Maggie T and Reagan. There’s an aphorism that springs to mind about polishing…